People's College of Law

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Peoples College of Law
Motto Producing Social Justice Lawyers
Established 1974
School type Private, Non-profit Law School
Dean Garo Ghazarian, Esq.
Location Los Angeles, CA, US
34°03′23″N 118°16′25″W / 34.05639°N 118.27361°W / 34.05639; -118.27361Coordinates: 34°03′23″N 118°16′25″W / 34.05639°N 118.27361°W / 34.05639; -118.27361
Bar pass rate 40% (5/2) (February 2014 repeat takers)[1]

The Peoples College of Law (PCL) is an unaccredited, private, non-profit, degree granting law school located just off Wilshire Blvd in the downtown Los Angeles community of Westlake-MacArthur Park. PCL offers a part-time, four-year evening law program centered on work in the public interest.


Aimed at addressing inequities in law and society, PCL was founded in 1974 for individuals historically denied access to legal training and representation. The school maintains a socio-political requirement that states: "An eligible candidate will be able to demonstrate a commitment to progressive social change."[2] PCL uses alternative methods of law school admissions, which does not rely on the LSAT because it is considered culturally biased. Tuition is kept low through the use of volunteer faculty, consisting of working Attorneys, Judges and law professors. Students and members of the PCL community volunteer to maintain the facilities, allowing all students to graduate debt free.

State Bar registration[edit]

PCL is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners[3] of the State Bar of California as an unaccredited law school and may grant the juris doctor (J.D.) law degree. Its students must take and pass the First-Year Law Students' Examination, also known as the "Baby Bar", at the end of their first year in order to receive credit for their law study and eventually qualify to sit for the California Bar Examination. It is not approved by the American Bar Association.[4]

Bar pass rates[edit]

For the years 2010 through 2015, 32 Peoples College graduates have taken the California Bar Examination; of that number, 6 passed the examination for a pass rate of 18%.[5]

Noted people[edit]

The former Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO, Maria Elena Durazo, former California State Senator of the 22nd District in Los Angeles and current Los Angeles City Council representative, Gilbert Cedillo, commentator for Fox News Channel's Fox News Watch, for MSNBC and CNN, Jeff Cohen, Publisher of the LA Progressive,[6] Sharon Kyle, Director of the UCLA Labor Center, Kent Wong and Carol Sobel, formerly of the ACLU and currently Ex. VP of the National Lawyers Guild[7] are alumni of PCL.

Noted AIDS activist Ilka Tanya Payán was also a graduate of PCL, became a lawyer in 1981,[8] practiced immigration law and was a New York City Human Rights Commissioner before her death from AIDS. A small park in New York was named in her honor in 1982.[9][10]


External links[edit]